Monday, December 28, 2009

A Holiday Project

As I tend not to quilt during January while the kids are home on summer holidays, I decided I needed a summer project.  I have decided to see how I go with crocheting a throw and was lucky enough to be given the book "200 Crochet Blocks" by Jan Eaton for Christmas.  I have bought some organic cotton from Ecoyarns in lovely muted colours of cream, browns and greens.

I have completed four blocks so far and am pleased with the results.  The blocks I have finished are:
No. 189 Willow
No. 94 Gothic Square
No. 47 Queen Anne's Lace
and No. 209 Marigold

With that, I am going to be signing off for a while to enjoy our summer break with family.   I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2010 may bring health and happiness.

I will see you back in 2010 to hopefully share many more beautiful quilts.

Best wishes,

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Rouenneries Wedding Quilt

My friend Penny has just made a beautiful quilt to be gifted as a wedding quilt early in the new year.  The quilt has been made mainly from the Moda Rouenneries by French General range of fabrics.  The Rouenneries range is a lovely collection of printed cottons and woven stripes.  Rouenneries were the cotton prints printed in Rouen, France during the mid-18th Century.  The inspiration for these designs were based on a collection of old prints and stripes from this era in shades of reds, naturals and chocolate browns.  Penny has certainly managed to put these fabrics together to make a stunning quilt - I particularly love the reds in this quilt.

As Penny wanted a quilting design which was not too feminine and floral, I have again used the Gothic Vine design which draws your eye around the quilt.

The Rouenneries range has some beautiful solid fabrics in the range and I love the way the quilting stands out on these fabrics.

This was the last quilt I had to complete before Christmas - I am sure it will be well received by the bride and groom.

I will be taking a break from quilting for customers over the holidays but will hopefully get to do some of my own quilting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Birthday Quilt

I love the stories behind quilts - every quilt seems to have a lovely story either about the maker, the recipient or the reason the quilt is made.  The story behind Liz's quilt appeals to me in particular.  Liz has just celebrated her own 40th Birthday - to celebrate her 40th Birthday and to honour and thank her mother on having reached this significant birthday, she has made a special quilt for her mum.

Liz's mother loves green - this beautiful quilt should therefore appeal to her.  While many of the fabrics in the quilt were new, some fabrics which have been in the family for a long time have also been incorporated in the quilt.  This quilt was rather large and I could not manage to get a photo of the whole quilt.

I quilted Liz's quilt with an all-over design called plumage.  Here are some close-ups of some of the lovely fabrics included and the quilting detail which has added great texture to the quilt.

I hope you have celebrated a wonderful 40th Birthday Liz and that your Mum loves her new quilt.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hand Pieced Inchie Quilt

Being more of a machine piecer myself, I am always impressed by the skill and amazed at the patience of hand piecers.  As the name of the quilt suggests, this quilt is made up of 1 inch squares all of which have been hand pieced by my customer Charmaine.

This little quilt was a delight to quilt.  To make the printed squares pop up, I have quilted continuous curves around the cream background squares.  I love the circular effect this has created around the printed squares.

Here is a close-up of the sashing and the border.

I believe Charmaine has made a beautiful little quilt.  She picked it up today and tells me she has another just like it under way - hand piecing must be rather addictive!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blue Daze Quilt

I have just had the pleasure of quilting this beautiful Blue Daze Quilt for Kate from One Flew Over.  The quilt is for her son, Alfie and is a result of the Around The Block quilting bee - both Kate and all the girls involved have done a fantastic job.  Kate has kindly allowed me to blog about her quilt before she has even seen it - I hope you like it Kate.

Kate chose the Waterworld quilting design, having seen it on this little quilt.  The quilting design has added great texture and movement through the quilt.  Here are some close-ups of the quilting and the fabulous blocks.

There is so much little detail in each of the blocks - they really are lots of fun.

As there were more blocks than Kate was able to use in the front, some of the blocks have been used to make a great quilt back.  As a machine quilter, I must admit I love the quilting on that expanse of white fabric on the back.

I hope Alfie gets many years of use out of his new quilt - enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quilt Whisperer 101

I have been taking part in an online machine quilting course called "Quilt Whisperer 101" which is organised through MQ Resource with the teacher being Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers.  Carla is an amazing quilter and I had been following her blog for quite a while.  The class taught the technique of "quilt whispering" or reading a quilt.  It is a design class, taught over three weeks, which gives you an understanding of how a quilt needs to be quilted.  The class also taught a large number of quilting designs.  Part of the class involved uploading photos of your creative exercises which were then shared through a forum - it was amazing and very inspirational to see everyone's work.  Also included were a number of videos which were great to watch.

The class included a number of fabulous creative exercises.  I learned the joy of drawing quilting designs with a white gel pen on black paper.  The result is beautiful and is a great reference to show customers.  Here is one of my samples:-

The next creative exercise was to quilt out some of the drawn designs onto black fabric with a contrasting thread.  Quilting with contrasting thread is usually out of my comfort zone but I was very excited with the results.

If I were to quilt these designs onto a quilt I would probably just choose a couple of different elements.  However, I had a great time quilting this little sample and practicing a wide range of designs.

I would highly recommend the Quilt Whisperer 101 Class to all quilters - it is a design class not specifically for longarm machine quilters.  Quilt Whisperer 101 is being run again in January 2010 - I loved it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fern Quilt

I would like to share my customer Peney's Fern Quilt.  Peney makes beautiful quilts - her designs and fabrics are always striking and this quilt is no exception.  The quilt has been made from Joelle Hoverson's fabric range called Cake Rock Beach which has resulted in a very earthy, organic quilt.  I particularly love the colours in this quilt.

Peney wanted the quilting on this quilt to be fairly simple.  When I saw this quilt, the "Fern" quilting design by Kathie James came to mind.  This pattern seemed to be perfect for this quilt and also met Peney's requirement for a simple quilting design.  The fern quilting design has added great movement  and texture to this quilt.

I love the way the ferns appear to go in both directions.

Peney has made this quilt as a gift - I am sure it will be well received and enjoyed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Parcel from France

When I got home from work yesterday, my husband declared that I had received a "funny little parcel from France".  It is always very exciting getting a parcel in the post - a parcel from France seems to be even more exciting.  I received this beautifully handwritten envelope from Anna's Etsy Shop, Lilla Lotta.

Lilla Lotta has a fabulous selection of handmade cotton tapes including custom made tapes.  My parcel contained my custom made Quilts on Bastings quilt labels and I am thrilled with them.  I intend to use them for quilts that I make to sell and my personal quilts.

The labels are a great addition to my recently designed logo, business cards and flyer.  After years of using home printed flyers, it is great to have some professional looking stationery and labels.

Now all I need is some time to make some quilts for myself to use my labels on.  I am hoping to squeeze in some personal sewing once all my Christmas orders are completed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Japanese Flower Garden

I love the versatility of patchwork - the fact that you can take a traditional pattern like Grandmother's Flower Garden and make it in a totally different style.  I have just finished quilting a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt for my customer Dorothy who has made a stunning Japanese version of this very traditional pattern.  This quilt was hand pieced using the english paper piecing method.

I quilted this quilt with Baptist Fans which was done using the Quilt Ez templates.  The Quilt Ez templates are an easy system to use - the templates sit on the quilting table and a stylus drops into the grooves.  It is then a matter of following the grooves with the stylus as you quilt.  With a little bit of care where over-stitching is required you get a great result.

I love the end result on Dorothy's quilt - a traditional quilting design on a modern version of a traditional quilt.

Dorothy has also put some beautiful detail into this quilt.  Each of the centres of the flowers has sashiko stitching on it as has the outside border.

I hope you have enjoyed Dorothy's Japanese Flower Garden.  Happy quilting...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Field Trips in Fiber

I was thrilled to find that Vicki from Field Trips in Fiber has included my little Just Leaf It Quilt in her list of Longarm Specific Eye Candy.  Thanks so much Vicki.  Follow the above link if you have some spare time and would like to have a look at some fabulous blogs - her list of eye candy is quite extensive!

Enjoy - I did!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Australian Quilt Market

I attended the Australian Quilt Market on the weekend in Melbourne.  The Australian Quilt Market is a wholesale market which has been the prime venue to view and buy the very latest in patchwork, fabrics, professional quilting machines, threads, domestic sewing machines, notions, patterns, beading and accessories in Australia.  I had a great time with Rita from Red Pepper Quilts and also met up with a number of other bloggers - it was great to catch up over a coffee.  It was wonderful to see the beautiful fabric ranges of fabrics that are coming out.

As a machine quilter, however, I wasn't really in the market for buying a range of fabrics. My purchases were a little more humble - they included the following from Constantine Quilts:-

I was thrilled to get the current issue and some back issues of my favourite quilting magazine Machine Quilting Unlimited.  I tend to find that many patchwork magazines focus on the piecing with the quilting being a secondary consideration.  I often find myself peering at photos in patchwork magazines to try and see how a quilt has been quilted.

Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine (MQU), however, is focused on the machine quilting process, whether you are using a domestic sewing machine, small frame system or professional longarm machine. I find their articles instructive and informative, showcasing the latest products, designs, teachers and quilting celebrities.  The magazine tries to educate the reader via how-to instruction and detailed product reviews. A portion of the magazine is often decidated to showcasing award-winning, machine-quilted items, whether quilts, garments or miscellaneous creations and profiling industry leaders and businesses.  I also love their maintenance articles which have proved very useful for my longarm quilting machine.  MQU is published six times per year.

I also bought Maree Nordeng's book - Extreme Makeover - Feather Edition.  I am not sure my quilting library needed another feather book but I couldn't resist.

I also received a complimentary Quilter's Diary for 2010 from Universal Magazines and bought a Christmas pattern from the very inspirational Don't Look Now.  I have plans to use the Christmas pattern as a quilting design rather than an applique pattern - somehow I think it may not be ready for Christmas 2009...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hearts in Bloom Quilt

Although it is still Spring in Melbourne, the last week has made it feel like Summer has arrived early.  We have just had a rather hot week with a number of days with temperatures over 30 degrees Celcius.  It is almost too hot to quilt although I still have quite a few quilts to complete before Christmas.

Last week I finished a quilt which has a bright and summery feel about it for my customer Maree.  It is a scrappy, square-in-a-square quilt which has used a larger number of fresh, beautifully colourful fabrics.

This quilt has been quilted with a design from one of my favourite designers,  Timeless Quilting Designs.  The pattern is called Hearts in Bloom which, as the name suggests, is a heart and daisy meander which ties in well with the many daisies featured in the prints.

I hope Maree enjoyes her new Hearts in Bloom quilt and that you have enjoyed reading about this cheerful quilt - enjoy the rest of your weekend and happy quilting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birds of Paradise Quilt

I recently quilted this "Birds of Paradise Quilt" for Kate from One Flew Over.  Kate made this quilt as an engagement present with fabrics chosen by the recipient of her gift.  As Kate mentioned in her blog, the fabrics are perhaps not those that she would have chosen herself and she was not all that excited with the end result.  I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however, and I for one really love this quilt - it is a beautifully fresh looking quilt.

I quilted this quilt with what appears to be my new favourite pattern called Gothic Vine - it is a lovely elegant pattern.

I particularly liked Kate's use of a plain white backing which made the quilting stand out beautifully.  I tend to love a plain backing - as long as you can match the thread to the backing fabric.

I hope this quilt was well received Kate - I am sure it will be loved and that the amount of work you put into it will be appreciated.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Parcel

I participated in Park City Girl's Blogger's Quilt Festival a few weeks ago which was fabulous.  Not only did I enjoy visiting many blogs and looking at the amazing quilts, I was also lucky enough to win a prize from one of the sponsors.  My prize was a $50 voucher from The Fat Quarter Shop.  I spent quite some time deciding what to buy and today my parcel arrived.

It is very exciting getting a parcel in the mail.  I don't have a huge fabric stash and tend to buy fabrics with a particular quilt in mind.  However, the voucher had to be spent!  I settled on a number of solid fabrics for which I have in mind some baby wholecloth quilts.  In also included a dotty fabric which I intend to be the binding.  Here are my purchases.

I have also bought some more Aurifil threads which I have recently started using on my longarm machine - they quilt up beautifully and have a lovely sheen to them.  These were bought from Always Quilting - they include some gorgeous variegated threads which should look great on the solids I have bought.

I am looking forward to making these baby quilts and will be sure to post them on my blog.

I would like to thank both Park City Girl for organising the Blogger's Quilt Festival and the Fat Quarter Shop for their generous sponsorship and their excellent service. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kaffe Fassett Quilt

I have just finished a beautiful Kaffe Fassett quilt for my customer Peta.  My first ever post was the Single Girl Quilt which was also made by Peta for one of her daughters.  This Kaffe Fassett quilt has been made for Peta's other daughter.  Peta's daughters were so excited to have the Single Girl Quilt blogged by me that they asked if I could blog this quilt - how could I refuse?

This Kaffe Fassett quilt is not about the quilting - it is about beautiful fabrics, lovely subtle colours and a great quilt design.

I have quilted this quilt with an all-over design called Gothic Vine.

Well done Peta, you have made another gorgeous quilt - I hope your daughters enjoy their quilts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Just Leaf It

As  a machine quilter I like to try new designs and quilting ideas.  I am always buying books for inspiration and a book I purchased recently was "Just Leaf It" by Kim Stotsenberg.  As the title suggests, the book explains how to quilt leaves into quilts, giving ideas for borders, sashing and blocks.

I am usually not brave enough to quilt a new design straight onto a quilt without at least having practiced it.  This time, I decided to make a small wholecloth quilt to try out these new leaves.  My little "Just Leaf It" wholecloth quilt is about 20 inches square.

Here are some close-ups of the quilting.

This was also the first time I had quilted the pebble background fill.  I love the look of the pebbles and the way it has made the leaves pop up.  The pebbles were, however, a very time consuming background fill to quilt and I found it hard to relax while quilting them.

I loved making this little quilt which now hangs in my studio - it is great to be able to show customers a quilting design on a quilt rather than on paper.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Grandmother's Flower Garden Bushfire Quilt

The bushfires in Victoria of last Summer, and in particular, February 7th caused many people to lose their lives, their homes and their livelihoods.  The recovery process is still in the early stages, with many people only just starting to rebuild their homes or even deciding on whether or not to rebuild.

In an attempt to provide comfort, the quilting community throughout Australia have made literally thousands of quilts for the bushfire victims.  The quilt I am featuring today is one such quilt which, in a small way, it is hoped will give some comfort to the person receiving it.

This Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt was made by my customers Lesley and Jan and other members of their patchwork and sewing group.  Their patchwork group had been meeting regularly for years and one of their very own members lost her home during the bushfires - this quilt has been made for her.  The quilt has been entirely hand pieced over the last six months.  It is made from the most beautiful civil war reproduction fabrics.

Many of the hexagons have been carefully fussy cut, resulting in the most spectacular blocks - these are some of my favourites.

I have quilted this quilt with an all-over feather design by Timeless Quilting Designs called Feathered Curls.  The quilting has added great detail to the borders of the quilt without taking away from the piecing in the body of the quilt.

I hope the quilt will provide some comfort to the person receiving it, I know a lot of love has gone into the making of it.